Don’t Just Scare Them…Scare the Daylight Out of Them

It’s a classic phrase used when reviewing copy: “Don’t just tell the reader…show the reader.”   And it’s absolutely true.   The education I received in the early years of my direct marketing career drove that point home in a powerful way. Especially with fear-based promotions.   Some of the more successful promotions I’ve ever […]

The Proven “Secret” for Making Even the Most Boring Business Meeting a Success

One of the more boring — but necessary — regular functions during my role as a publisher was to participate in review meetings with upper management. But it was in these meetings that I learned a productivity “secret” that I’ve used many times over the years to turn otherwise boring meetings into unlikely sources for […]

The Marketing “Secret” it Took Me Over a Decade to Fully Understand

Back when I was in college, I spent two summers (and two winters) working as an intern for MBNA America. MBNA was a massive credit card company – specializing in affinity cards – whose headquarters were located in Ogletown, Delaware in the early 1990s. At the time,the company was massive, and growing rapidly…and it would […]

The Simplest, Most Critical Test to Perform on All of Your Marketing Copy

My early days in the direct marketing industry provided an amazing education. In just a few months’ time in the “real world” I learned more than my four-year business degree could ever offer in terms of business success. Of course, it was a highly specialized education that I was getting – in the world of […]

Secrecy or Collaboration: Why Sharing Valuable Business Lessons Can Be So Important

In any business environment, there is a natural tendency to closely guard your most valuable revenue-generating secrets. But that isn’t always the best – or most productive – policy. That’s something I learned early on in my career in direct marketing. Like most who were new to the direct marketing industry, I was stunned when […]

3 Simple — Yet Powerful — Rules to Dramatically Increase Your Email Open Rates

Email marketers know this reality: Your open rates hold the key to success for any promotion. After all, if your prospects aren’t opening your message, then they aren’t clicking… And they certainly aren’t ordering. So what’s the simplest, most effective way to consistently generate great open rates? Write great subject lines. Here are three easy-to-follow rules for writing […]

There’s Nothing Like an Argument to Spark Great Marketing Ideas

No matter if you’re a marketing director, publisher, product developer or copywriter…one of the most important tasks you face every day is coming up with the next great idea. And there’s no shortage of advice out there on how to do this. There have been books written about it. Articles in trade publications. Blog post […]

The Power of Audacity in Marketing

Many years ago – way back in the mid-1990s, in fact – I found myself very much in the right place at the right time for learning valuable marketing lessons. I had just landed a job managing “ancillary sales” for Agora’s financial newsletter division. For the most part, this was to involve lining up advertisers […]